2016 Illahe Tempranillo Rosé

Willamette Valley, Oregon

I love rosé. No matter what time of year it is, I truly love rosé.

And not because every female millennial with an Instagram account is posting pictures of the pretty juice and calling it “on fleek” or whatever other absurd slang term they’re using at this exact moment in time. I love rosé because, plain and simple, it’s delicious! And versatile. It’s red wine that drinks like white wine and depending on the style of rosé you’re sipping on, it can pair with almost everything.

My staff pick for the summer is the Illahe Tempranillo Rosé. Illahe is small, family run, sustainably farmed winery about 65 miles East of Portland, Oregon. ILLAHE, pronounced Ill-Uh-Hee, is a word that comes from Chinook jargon meaning “earth” or “place” or “soil”.

This beautifully balanced wine was picked, sorted and bottled by hand with as little intervention as possible and only 500 cases were produced. We only got about 20 cases for all of Alberta, so if you love it as much as I do, I suggest buying in bulk (we offer 10% on cases of 12).

This gem offers fresh aromas of field strawberries, lime zest, green mangos and rhubarb. About 45% of the wine is fermented in barrel, giving it a lean body with great mouthfeel. On the palate, there are notes of meyer lemon, kumquat, gooseberry and cotton candy, with a clean, mineral finish.

Try this wine with a spinach and strawberry salad, BBQ’d anything or strawberry shortcakes. Or another glass.